The #1 reason why your prospect said no sale

 Your big mouth.

It's sales 101.  Listen.  Ask questions.  Listen some more.  But we all know that in most selling situations, it's hard to shut up.  You have so much to say.  You're so good at your job.  Your case study is so compelling.

So you just talk, and talk and talk some more.

Long time readers of this blog know I have an incredible respect for the smarts found at  Excellent articles, time-worthy webinars and insightful research and reports.  In their recent benchmark report, How Clients Buy 2009, there's lots to chew on. You can download an excerpt of the report here:

But here's the chart and summary that really stopped me cold.

Picture 8

According to the report:  “Service provider did not listen to me” is the most widely experienced problem faced by 38% of professional services buyers. Additionally, 55% of buyers said they would be “much more likely” to consider hiring the provider if they listened better.

Holy cow.  Everyone is in a panic about how to get more sales and there's the answer right in front of us.  Shut up.  Listen.

And it you add up the didn't listen and the talked too much….that's 63%.  2/3rds of your sales calls are being wasted because you talk too much.

What do you say about that?

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8 comments on “The #1 reason why your prospect said no sale

  1. Chris O. says:

    Very helpful. I always say silence attracts conversation like a magnet.

    I quoted you in our most rescent blog post.



  2. DianeH says:

    Very interesting. Tell me more about that. I’m listening… 😉

  3. Hi Drew,

    Excellent reminder. Thanks for pointing out the report.

    I had some coaching on sales a few years ago. The #1 thing I learned was to keep the person talking as much as possible – always have another question for the person. If they ask for info from me too quickly, say I’d like to learn more about them first.

    It really makes a difference.


  4. Justin Brady says:

    I have a tendency to talk WAAAAY to much. I learned quickly to ask, ask and ask some more. The neat thing about asking questions is not only do you learn more about your client and their needs, but they will actually like you better.

    Think back to some people you think are super cool, chances are they listen to you, and let you ramble more than most. Think of people you can’t stand, most likely they don’t shut up! 🙂

  5. Chris,

    Appreciate the shout out. And you’re right silence can be a beautiful thing.


  6. Diane —

    Thanks for the demonstration and the chuckle!


  7. Casey,

    And I think the trick is being genuinely interested so those questions don’t sound overly planned or scripted. I find that when I am really listening…the questions come naturally because I am curious.

    Curiosity may kill the cat but it also closes the sale.


  8. Justin,

    I have always said…the most interesting and popular person at any party is the person who doesn’t talk about themselves at all.

    And the funny thing is people will say, “X is the most interesting person to talk to” and really what they’re saying is that X let me talk about me all night!


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